The clients who see the best results from working with Aldous & Associates are the ones who work their collections accounts from their end in tandem with our efforts. That process can look different for each gym.
While it may seem best to hand off collections to a third-party, and it often is a good idea, it’s also beneficial for your gym to stay involved. How can your gym work together with a third-party collections company?
Start the Collections Process
It’s beneficial for gyms to start with the first-party collections process, wherein a company uses its own employees to collect unpaid debts, prior to handing the account over to a third-party. Sending a member directly to a collections company as the first approach could alienate the member.
Instead, start with a friendly exchange that provides reminders. Starting this way shows the member that you’re understanding and want to keep the relationship. This is a much better way to reach members who:
- Forgot a payment
- Had a problem with a credit card or bank account
- Are going through a hard time
You’re more likely to create a positive experience through gentleness and understanding. The person will likely think well of your brand, which provides benefits even if you lose them as a member.
You can take a few steps that progress in significance as you go along. For instance:
- Send a simple reminder that the payment wasn’t made or it failed
- Send a follow-up communication that includes information on payments and potentially reminds the person of gym benefits and commitments
- Warn the person that the final step will be to send the person’s account to a collection company if the payment is not made by a certain date
Then, if the person still fails to make the payment, it’s time to send the account to third-party collections. You first exercised all other options.
Carry Out Collections as a Team
Another option is for the gym to work hand-in-hand with third-party collections at the same time. We encourage our clients to do this when they work with us at Aldous & Associates.
In addition to recouping as much of the money owed as possible, one of our main goals is to reinstate the member and gym relationship. This is more likely to happen when the gym works with the collections company. Using a collections company allows the gym to remove itself from the more sticky aspects, such as making the gentle reminder that the lack of payment will go on the member’s credit report if they fail to pay within a certain time frame.
At the same time, the gym can be the “good cop” who:
- Is understanding
- Reaches out with friendly reminders
- Attempts to retain a relationship
Even after the account is sent to third-party collections, we always encourage gyms to accept payments directly from a member when the member reaches out. This is the best, quickest way to recoup the payment, and it offers the gym an opportunity to provide good customer service and potentially continue the membership.
A Combination of Methods
Of course, gyms can do both steps in tandem with a third-party. They can begin the collections process with first-party steps like sending reminders. Then, if the person fails to pay and sends the account to third-party collections, they can continue to stay part of the process and communicate with the member.
Regardless of how gyms work together with Aldous & Associates, we like to work in tandem so that we stay on the same page and help each other toward the same goal.
Get Started Today
Does your business need help with collections?
We can help!